Washington Post publishes Jamal Khashoggi's 'last piece'

WION Web Team Washington, DC, USA Oct 18, 2018, 10.03 AM(IST)

Jamal Khashoggi. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Khashoggi expressed his disappointment with the Arab spring of 2011 when people hoped for "emancipation from hegemony of their governments 

US national newspaper The Washington Post today published an opinion article by Khashoggi sent by his translator a day after the Saudi journalist went missing after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, triggering a global controversy.

A note at the beginning of the piece by Karen Attiah, Global Opinions editor, said that The Post held off publishing the piece hoping for his return but she added that "now I have to accept that is not going to happen".

The opinion piece is aptly titled: 'What the Arab world needs most is free expression'.

"This column perfectly captures his commitment and passion for freedom in the Arab world. A freedom he apparently gave his life for," The Post's global opinion editor wrote.

In the opening statement, Khashoggi wrote that "there is only one country in the Arab world that has been classified as 'free'. That nation is Tunisia. Jordan, Morocco and Kuwait come second, with a classification of 'partly free'," he wrote.

"The rest of the countries in the Arab world are classified as 'not free'," he said in the piece.

"Arabs living in these countries are either uninformed or misinformed. A state-run narrative dominates the public psyche, and while many do not believe it, a large majority of the population falls victim to this false narrative," he felt, adding ominously that "sadly, this situation is unlikely to change."

Khashoggi expressed his disappointment with the Arab spring of 2011 when people hoped for "emancipation from hegemony of their governments and censorship of information". 

"These expectations were quickly shattered; these societies either fell back to the old status quo or faced even harsher conditions than before," he noted.

He rued the fact that Arab governments "aggressively blocked the Internet". The Arab world is facing its own version of an Iron Curtain, he said.

"The Arab world needs a modern version of the old transnational media so citizens can be informed about global events. More important, we need to provide a platform for Arab voices."

"We suffer from poverty, mismanagement and poor education," he said, concluding that through the creation of an "independent international forum ordinary people in the Arab world would be able to address the structural problems their societies face."